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Haiti - ALERT: Outbreak, the death toll mounts, 135 deads, 1.498 infected
21/10/2010 19:15:03

Haiti - ALERT: Outbreak, the death toll mounts, 135 deads, 1.498 infected
Dr. Yolene Surena, from Department of Haitian Civil Protection (DCP) announced that the cholera epidemic that rage in north of Haiti was already made 135 victims and 1.498 people are infected over the last 48 hours.

Claude Surena, president of the Haitian Medical Association stated that "according to the results of the analysis carried out in the laboratory it is cholera" adding that the declaration of a health crisis by the government is imminent. Alex Larsen Minister of Public Health is en route to Saint-Marc to officially announce the nature of the epidemic.

UPDATE 6:30pm : Hospital St-Nicolas / St-Marc - Alex Larsen, Minister of Public Health has just declared a few minutes ago that this was the Cholera. However, the laboratory is unable at present to determine which strain of cholera it is, tests are underway.

"hospitals and medical centers in the regions are overwhelmed and numerous deaths have been registered [...] we are evacuating a number of the sick patients to other centers" said Gabriel Timothé, genaral director of Haitian Ministry of health.

Humanitarian agencies have expressed fears that the disease could spread rapidly because of unsanitary conditions in camps where people have little access to drinking water. International agencies have mobilized all medical personnel available to try to contain the spread of the disease and treat patients. "We are evaluating the situation on the ground with the international partners and the Haitian health authorities" said Fanny Devoucoux from the French aid organization Acted.

In the region of Drouin, Dr. Jean-Robert Pierre-Louis, said "We have 27 deaths and 300 hospitalizations".

Cholera is caused by a comma-shaped bacterium called Vibrio cholerae, causes severe diarrhea and vomiting leading to dehydration. It is easily treatable with antibiotics and rehydration. But with a short incubation period [two hours to five days] cholera can be fatal if not treated in time and increases the risk of explosive outbreaks of the epidemic.

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